Most retro consoles have the ability to be linked together for multiplayer purposes, and the Jaguar is no different. If you look on the back of the Jag, you'll notice that there are two exposed circuit board connectors. The longer of the two is used by the Jaguar SCART or S-Video connectors, and the other one is - surprise - used by the JagLink system networking device. I'm going to go out on a limb here are say that there are probably very few Jaguar consoles out there that have ever had anything slotted onto that narrower connector, simply because the JagLink is a pretty uncommon peripheral and only three games actually use it: Doom, Battlesphere and Aircars. As you'd expect, in order to fully make use of the JagLink, you need two Jaguars, two TVs, a willing friend and two copies of whichever game it is you want to play.
The lesser-spotted Network Capable logo
I had pretty much everything on that tick list, apart from the second copy of Doom...but when I bought my JagLink from an eBay seller, I mentioned that I'd also be looking for another copy of Doom and he sent me a brand new (sealed) boxed copy for free! For that completely selfless act of kindness, I'd like to thank eBayer retro_xtreme.

It's actually a little odd that, considering how much of a fan of the Doom series I am, I've never actually played the game in multiplayer; so it was quite apt that my first ever taste of co-op Doom came about using the Jaguar version. Many times over the years I've looked at that gameplay mode option in the menu of Jaguar Doom, and only now have I had the ability to actually select 'co-op' or 'deathmatch' and been able to jump into a game with a second player...and it really does add something extra to a game I thought I had seen every side of (actually, you can only see one side of pretty much everything in the sprite-based engine...but you know what I mean!). To be honest, I was really impressed with the speed at which the JagLink networked my two systems and there was none of the stuttering or freezing up mentioned in the Doom manual (see image below). The only issue I encountered was that my modded 60Hz system does occasionally freeze while running Doom for reasons unbeknown to me, and that's not really anything to do with the JagLink - it does it in single player too.

Game-play experiences aside, the JagLink itself is a nice looking device. It comprises two network adaptor boxes that attach to the back of each system and a network cable that goes between the two. I do also have an unofficial network cable but I've not actually tried it to see if it works simply because the connectors on the ends of it are very wide and I can't connect the SCART and S-Video cables at the same time. If it does indeed work, it makes me wonder why the official version of the JagLink has the little boxes...but I digress.

It's a great little addition to my collection and that it's boxed and in really good condition is a massive bonus; and the free copy of Doom it came with only sweetened the deal.

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